Veteran

A Look Back at 2018

As an up and coming nonprofit organization, we hit the ground running and learned new things along the way.  As we end 2018, here’s a look back at what we have done over the past year. 

  • Launched our core service and presented our mission and vision to the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County.
  • Visited and hosted events at colleges to share our services and educate students about their benefits and options, as Veterans.
Pizza and chat at San Jose State University
Resource fairs at West Valley College and Evergreen Valley College
  • New partnerships with companies who are Veteran-centered; offering services in education, employment search, and entrepreneurship.
    • Work for Warriors (WFW) is a State and Federally funded FREE Job Placement Program in California. The intent of the employment initiative branded “Work for Warriors” is aimed at assisting Post 9/11 Veterans, Active National Guard, Active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California.
    • NPower is creating pathways to economic prosperity by launching digital careers for military veterans and young adults from underserved communities.
    • ZipRecruiter created a Veterans resource page to help find veteran-friendly jobs and career help such as career advice or interview tips.
  • Connected and partnered with organizations to raise awareness on the difficulties Veterans face while transitioning to their civilian lives..

Milpitas Rotary hosted an auction dinner to raise funds to support our mission.
Kiwanis of San Jose and Know A Vet put a picnic together for San Jose Vet Center clients and their families.
Vet-Net Summer Summit in Santa Cruz, Second Harvest Social Safety Net Group, Silicon Valley Veterans Summit, Spoke at Saratoga Rotary Club, San Jose Vet Center Christmas lunch for Veterans and their families.
  • Our core team attended training events to help propel us forward.
    • Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
    • Nonprofit Marketing with Social Media
    • Customer Relations Management (CRM)
  • Outreach events to the community

Military Appreciation at the ScoutORama, Memorial Day at Oak Hill Cemetery, Spirit of ‘45, Viva Calle, Day on the Bay, Family Fall Festival at Lake Cunningham, Senior Research and Wellness Fair, Veterans’ Day Parade, Honor on the Row
  • Launched our Facebook page
    • Real-time information on topics about Veteran resources, benefits, employment, education, events, and more.
    • Share our photos of activities we do and participate in.
    • Share information from our community partners.
  • Know A Vet News
    • Our weekly newsletter engages with those who are not on social media.
    • Share resources and benefits news curated from community partners and online sources.
  • Thanks to a fantastic set of donors and volunteers, we were able to provide a hot lunch to the 297th ASMC team who were mobilized to assist the Butte County/Paradise fire citizens.  You can view the album here.

We are looking forward to what 2019 will bring.

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Career / Opportunities July 10, 2018

Goodwill of Silicon Valley:  Local community partner

Main Plant – Mission Services Administrative Liaison
Willow Glen Store – CDP PT Retail Customer Service Specialist
Main Plant – FTR E-Commerce Associate I
Morgan Hill Store – CDP PT Retail Donor Greeter
Main Plant – PTT Good Labor General Worker

Work for Warriors:  Assisting Post 9/11 Veterans, Active National Guard, Active Reserve members, Spouses, and Gold Star Families in finding civilian employment in their region of California.

Palo Alto Networks – All Positions (Tech, IT, HR, Sales, Admin, Eng.)
Academy of Art University – Veteran Benefits Administrator
Technical Safety Services – Field Service Coordinator
CVS Health – Logistics Supervisor
Western Digital – Electronics Calibration/Metrology Tech

Hire A Hero job postings:  Online job board for veterans and their families

F5 Networks – Technical Program Manager
10x Genomix – Associate Product Manager Instrumentation
Best Buy – Major Appliance Customer Service Specialist
A10 Networks – Network Engineer
Sodexo – Executive Chef 3

MadSkills Virtual Job BoardVirtual jobs for military spouses; creates virtual jobs for professionals that allow them to earn a living, where they are, wherever they are.

Full Time – Project Coordinator-Entry Level
Full Time – Customer Service/Tech Support – Entry Level
Contract – WordPress Developer
Contract – Tech Support
Contract – QA Tester

GI Jobs Employment: Resource for civilian jobs and careers, schools, and transition.

Wells Fargo – Personal Banker 1
Wells Fargo – Region Bank President – Silicon Valley
Hilton – Assistant Chief Engineer – DoubleTree San Jose
Wells Fargo – Personal Banker 1
Wells Fargo – Personal Banker Registered 2

CAREER FAIR

work2future – July 11, 2018, 11 am – 1 pm, 1601 Foxworthy Ave., SJ, CA 95118
Competitive wages; direct hire
Employers include: California’s Great Adventure, Chase Bank, FedEx Express, Homecare California, Kelly Services, SJSU Research Foundation, Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions, Universal Site Services, Walters & Wolf

 

The employment and entrepreneurial leads above were pulled from military-affiliated sites and organizations we are partnered with. While we are extremely careful about what leads we post, we do not guarantee employment or success in any enterprise. We ask that you do your due diligence and thoroughly research anything you’re interested in before submitting an application.

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Effective Therapies to Treat PTSD

The path to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery has many forks in the road, is long, winding, and personalized.  Finding the right path that works for an individual sometimes takes trial and error and continuous research.  What works for one may not work for another.  Some work well within a group, and others work best alone.  Sometimes, it takes a combination of different treatment programs to find forward momentum and success.  There are three main options, to date:

Psychotherapy   

The most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD is trauma-focused psychotherapy.  It takes about 8-16 sessions to complete.  Here three types that show the best evidence for treatment:

  1. Prolonged Exposure (PE): a repeated revisiting of trauma in a safe setting, it allows for a change of reaction to memories of trauma and gives the ability to learn how to master fear- and stress-inducing situations.
  2. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): focuses on the impact of trauma, identifies the negative thoughts related to that event, understand how those thoughts case stress, replace those negative thoughts and cope with the upsetting feelings.
  3. Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): focuses on other stimuli while revisiting the experience (therapy guided eye movements or follow hand taps), helps reprocess traumatic information until no longer psychologically disruptive.

Pharmacotherapy

When non-drug treatment is not enough, pharmacotherapy is introduced.  Medications have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of symptoms.

Recreational Therapy

Recreational therapy is another option in keeping symptoms of PTSD from taking over your life.  Here are some organizations that offer these services.

Sierra Club Military Outdoors – organizes outdoor trips for veterans, other service members, and their families.  They provide a unique experience to foster mental and physical health, emotional resiliency, and leadership development. For many veterans, spending time in the outdoors can also help ease the transition to civilian life.  Activities include river rafting, mountain climbing, or fly fishing.  Check out their featured military outdoor trips this summer.

Outward Bound for Veterans – helps active duty service members and veterans readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefit of teamwork and challenge through the use of the natural world.  Powerful wilderness courses include rafting, sailing, or dog sledding.  Look here for their summer course schedule.

Warrior Built Foundation – The purpose of our foundation is to provide new motivation, camaraderie and to spark their imagination by constructing any type of vehicle from the ground up.  Veterans are exposed to fabrication and mechanics.  Take a look at some of their completed build projects and Calendar of Events / Schedule.

Project Sanctuary – brings health and wellness to military families. They are assessed to determine if they need support and services now or if they can be scheduled for a retreat.

Operation Freedom Paws – Empowers veterans to restore their own independence.  Trains clients to train a service dog for their specific needs.  Builds human-canine service teams.  Provides the support needed for clients to succeed.  Find out more about their Application Process.

Shelter to Soldier – brings veterans and rescue dogs together to recover and move forward.  You can apply online.

One Step Closer Therapeutic Riding – OSC signed a formal agreement with Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System to provide equine assisted therapy to U.S. Military Veterans recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of war.  The pilot program with five Veterans and is now serving approximately 10-15 per week and more than 300 Veterans per year across several V.A. departments.  Get to know these creatures by viewing their Equine Profiles.

National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy – the Veterans Program offers active-duty and retired military personnel the opportunity to participate at no cost. The program encourages physical and cognitive rehabilitation, providing Veterans with a safe environment in which to regain their independence, confidence, and strength.  Their offer services such as equine-assisted therapy, adaptive riding, adaptive horsemanship, or equine-assisted mental and behavioral health.  Read the NCEFT Veteran Program FAQs for answers to common questions about their program.

Choosing a treatment can be very difficult because there are not one-size fits all type of treatment.  To help compare treatments, visit the VA’s PTSD Treatment Decision Aid or take a look at their Treatment comparison chart.  This decision aid helps you learn about effective PTSD treatment options. You can read about the treatments or watch videos explaining how they work. You can even build a chart to compare the treatments you like most. In the end, you will get a personalized summary.

Research for PTSD treatment for veterans continue and we will always be looking for what’s new, what’s working now, and what does the future hold?

Here are links to other sources to learn more about PTSD.
National Center for PTSD
Make the Connection
About Face
Warrior Wellness Solutions
Road Home Program
Give An Hour

Here at Know A Vet?, we strive to share resources with our military community.  Do you know of local resources that have done well in treating our veterans and service members in need?  Please share your knowledge and help us help our vets.

 

 

 

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Vietnam Memories Linger

A Veteran’s words that provide a visually mind-bending story of a moment in time, and yet…

 


From RockVets Newsletter, June 2016
Rerun on June 2018 – in his memory
By Jerry Donnelan

 

It was the 24th of October, 1969.  We were on a Search and Clear Operation which, a few months earlier, would have been called a Search and Destroy Mission.  However, the grown-ups further up the chain of Command for some reason felt that search and destroy sounded too violent — so it became Search and Clear.  We did exactly the same thing.  Who knew that the politically correct police had its roots back then?

I was an Infantry Buck Sgt. – 3rd Platoon, Company D, 3rd of the 21st, 196th Light Infantry Brigade working off LZ Center.   Why it was called Center wasn’t hard to figure out.  It was right between LZ East and LZ West.  That was home although we spent very little time there.  Most of our time was spent in what we called Indian country wandering the Central Highlands – although I guess we couldn’t call it that today. We’d have to call it Indigenous Personnel Country.  At 22 I was the second oldest in my company.

The Highlands from a distance looked like the Catskills, only the vegetation was a bit different.  They called this Triple Canopy Jungle.  It was so dense that at noon on a sunny day the floor of the jungle would seem like night time.  The temperature and humidity both were around 100 and to add to the fun of this sleep away camp, we’d have to carry anywhere between 80 and 100 pounds on our back – 8 pounds of which was water that was far more valuable than a number of other things we carried, especially the food.

In those days it was C-Rats or C-Rations some of which you literally couldn’t eat.  There was one can that contained ham and lima beans.  We would pray that we were resupplied before we got to the bottom of our rations and had to eat that!  Many of these meals had nicknames but in polite company they can’t be printed.  This stuff would truly gag a maggot!

To give you an idea of the toll that takes, when I got to Vietnam I was 6’2” and weighed 185 pounds and was in reasonably good shape.  When I got home I weighed 122 Pounds.  To be fair, part of that weight loss was my right leg.  But still even considering that, it’s a fair amount of weight to drop in a relatively short time.  I mean how much could a leg just below the knee weigh?  15-20 pounds?

 

 

 

Anyway, it happened on Hill 370.  A couple of clicks off of the LZ.  I remember it was very loud.  The loudest thing I ever heard.  There was a huge fireball and I was thrown…I’m guessing 10 yards… landing on my back and I knew it wasn’t good to be lying out in the open.  My 12-gauge was gone.  According to the Geneva Convention we weren’t supposed to have scatter shot weapons.  But they issued Model 37 Ithaca pumps.  The Army also gave the Duper gun (M79) guy a canister round, which made the 79 a super-sized shotgun.  But then again, I never saw a referee out there to enforce any of these rules.  A buddy seemed to be comforted by the fact that the Geneva convention said they could shoot you but they couldn’t eat you.

So I picked up my right arm and it fell off mid shaft – between the wrist and the elbow.  What they call a double-compound fracture – 2 bones sticking out of each half of a bloody hunk of meat.  And yes, your bones are white.  Using my left arm, which had also been wounded, I carefully placed the broken right arm across my chest and lifted up my left leg to try and see if I could push my way back to cover.  That leg was riddled with shrapnel…the inside of which looked like hamburger meat.

I carefully placed it down and lifted up my right leg…it was gone.  That was kind of hard to wrap your head around.  Even though I didn’t feel pain – at least the kind of pain that you think would accompany what I was seeing, there was a terrific burning sensation.  Since my limbs weren’t working too well, I tried to prop myself up on my left elbow to see if I could see anyone.  However, leaning forward caused a bloody head wound to run into my eyes, which blinded me.  Just then I felt someone grab me.  Not being able to see I didn’t know if it was the enemy or one of my own guys.  Of all the things that were going on, that was simply the most terrifying.  I was totally helpless.  Thank God it was our medic – God bless him – without regard for himself.  He started working on me.  He shot me up with morphine for the pain, which you think would help.  However, it had kind of an opposite and frightening effect because as the drug began to take effect I didn’t know if it was the drug entering my body or life leaving it.
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June Is PTSD Awareness Month

PTSD affects the whole family, and everyone is encouraged to raise awareness for our service members, their caregivers, and their dependents. The more we know, the better we can recognize it and make sure that proper care or treatment is provided.

To start, you can download Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment from the National Center for PTSD. It provides the basics of cause and symptoms and treatment. There’s also a handout of what to do if you think you have PTSD; from talking to someone you trust, to seeking help. If you prefer, there are self-help tools available to you where you can get coaching online, as well as, a PTSD Coach Mobile App downloadable on iTunes (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

AboutFace is a website full of stories and experiences with PTSD and its treatment – in video format. Listen from Veterans, family members, and clinicians talk about when they knew they needed help, or how it affected their loved ones, to how treatment helped them move forward with their lives.

The National Center for PTSD also has a playlist of videos.

Make the Connection has hundreds of unscripted video interviews, more than 600 Veterans and their family members tell their personal stories — including the issues they’ve faced, the support they’ve received, and the strides they’ve made in improving their own lives.

 

Share these with everyone and help us raise awareness:  Learn  Connect  Share

 

Call, chat online, or text to 838255

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